Cat Insurance

Pet Insurance for Cats

Cats are wonderful companions and enjoyable pets. The snuggle with you, entertain you, and chase the mice away. They are curious, playful, and keep themselves clean. Although cats are overwhelmingly independent, they love their family and their families love them. If you are like most cat owners, you want to provide a safe and healthy home for your cat.

The most common nutritional disorder affecting cats is overweight and obesity, a condition which often leads to obesity related illnesses and increased veterinary expenses.

Cat owners can do many things to keep their cat healthy and safe, from providing nutritious food and clean drinking water, to making sure they get regular veterinarian care. Even with the best care, however, cats are susceptible to unforeseen injury and illness. Accidents can happen and diseases can develop without reason or warning.

With the high cost of veterinary care for cat emergencies and chronic illnesses, vet bills can quickly add up and become a financial burden. Cat insurance will help prepare you for the unexpected and help you afford the veterinary treatment necessary to extend your cat’s life.

Cat Insurance Coverage

Cats will face different health issues and concerns throughout the various stages of life. Kittens need vaccinations, adult cats need preventive care, and mature cats need treatments for age-related health issues. While you can plan for routine veterinary care and work it into the budget, what would happen if your cat became sick or injured and required costly medical care? Pet insurance will help you afford the expense of veterinary treatment for illness and accidents.

Cat Insurance

When shopping around for cat insurance you have many options and need to consider what type of coverage you want to purchase.

  • Accident Coverage
  • Illness Coverage
  • Routine Care Benefits

Accident Coverage

Insurance coverage for accidents is the most basic and affordable type of pet insurance. Most cats qualify for accident coverage, regardless of breed, age, or health conditions.

  • Accidents can happen, whether your cat stays indoors or roams around outside. Cats are naturally curious and can do things that cause them harm. They get into cleaning products, eat plants, chew on power cords, and swallow small items. They may also become injured in a fall, hit by a car, or bit by an insect.

The veterinary expenses that are typically covered for accidents are emergency care, surgery, diagnostic tests, X-rays, hospitalization, treatments, and prescription medication.

Illness Coverage

Illness coverage can be added to accident coverage in order to include a greater amount of situations. Many cats qualify for illness coverage, but some may not due to age or breed. Eligibility and covered conditions varies between companies, especially for breed specific hereditary health issues and preventable diseases.

  • Cats can get sick or face health issues, even with proper care. Some of the common illnesses which occur in cats are arthritis, cat flu, conjunctivitis (eye inflammation), ear mites, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV, or cat AIDS), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP, a virus), Feline Leukemia Virus (FLV), feline stress, fleas and ticks, hairballs, kidney disease, Lyme disease, urinary tract infection, vomiting, and worms.

The veterinary expenses that are typically covered for illnesses are veterinary care, diagnostic tests, hospitalization, treatments, and prescription medication.

Routine Care Coverage

Coverage for routine (wellness) care is an option for cat owners who want more comprehensive insurance coverage. Wellness care coverage typically includes annual check-ups, vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and routing dental care (tooth cleaning). Not all insurers offer routine care coverage and with some insurers the option will vary by state.

Basic Annual Expenses for Cat Owners

Cat Expense Chart
Source: 2007-2008 APPA National Pet Owners Survey

Cost of Cat Insurance

The average cost of cat insurance is around $15 to $18 per month, although your specific policy may be more or less than the average due to the age of your cat, where you live (state or zip code), and the amount of coverage you get.

The more comprehensive the coverage you get, the higher the premium amount will be. The lowest premiums will be for accident only coverage and pet plan policies with a high deductible. Adding illness coverage is the next step in pet plan benefits, but it will raise the premium as well. The most expensive pet plans are those that cover routine care and wellness visits.

Choosing a Cat Insurance Plan

When comparing insurers and cat health plans, consider the following:

  • The age of your cat
  • The type of coverage you want
  • The amount of deductibles, co-pays, and caps per incident, year, or lifetime
  • What items are covered and what items are excluded
  • If hereditary conditions are covered or excluded
  • Whether or not prescription medications are covered
  • If reimbursement is calculated as a percentage of vet bill or rate schedule
  • The length of the policy term
  • The waiting period
  • The cancellation policy

Each pet insurer has different rules and guidelines so it pays to shop around and compare the various companies and pet plan options. Finding the right plan for you and your cat will help you provide veterinary care for your dog when it is needed at a price you can afford.